World Bank to finance smallholder farmers and agri-enterprises in Liberia

LIBERIA – The World Bank has approved a new financing to increase productivity and market access for smallholder farmers and agri-enterprises in Liberia.   This new financing targets 60,000 persons, 50 percent of whom are women, mainly smallholder farmers and agri-entrepreneurs (private agribusiness investors, cooperatives, and SME processing or providing other services to agri-food systems) who are engaged in the selected value chains.  Funded by the International Development Association (IDA), the US$55 million credit financing will seek to address challenges for developing agri-food value chains and pave the way for rural economic transformation.   This Rural Economic Transformation…

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Three agribusinesses secure loans from ABC Fund to support their working capital

AFRICA – The Agri-Business Capital Fund (ABC Fund) has provided loans to three agri-businesses to support their working capital needs and their expansion, enabling higher rural employment and securing market access for farmers in their respective sectors. The two loans in the mango sector enable the provision of financing to SMEs that usually do not have access to local finance, with financial institutions being reluctant to finance the mango activity due the short harvest season, lasting only 3-4 months a year. The ABC Fund provided a loan of EUR450,000 (US$546,421)…

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AGRA partners Aceli to enhance capital flows for SMEs in agriculture sector

AFRICA – Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), has announced a partnership with Aceli Africa, a market incentive facility, to enhance capital flows for SMEs in the agriculture sector and support a financially inclusive agricultural transformation across Africa. AGRA and Aceli have signed a letter of intent committing to jointly work together to test and scale up innovations that substantially drive down the cost and risk of financing SMEs in the agriculture space. “AGRA firmly believes that it is vital to unlock the potential of SMEs for agricultural…

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Kenya’s Family Bank partner USAID to disburse US$4.7m to agribusinesses

KENYA – Financial institution Family Bank and the United States Agency for International Development(USAID), have partnered disburse US$4.7 million to agri-businesses in seventeen counties in Kenya in the next one year. The partnership deal between the lender and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) seeks to unlock US$374 million to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Kenya and East Africa. The partnership will see Family Bank finance agri-businesses in the selected 17 Counties in the East Africa nation. Through an initiative dubbed ‘Pay for Results’, the bank targets…

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Co-op Bank and eco.business Fund join forces to boost agribusiness in Kenya

KENYA – Co-operative Bank of Kenya, a tier one lender in Kenya, has secured US$10 million loan from eco.business Fund, a Luxembourg-based impact investment fund for on-lending to agribusinesses. The Nairobi Securities Exchange listed lender said it had received the subordinated loan from eco business Fund and will extend the same to sustainable agribusinesses, such as those in the coffee and tea. The facility marks the first investment in Kenya for eco-business Fund, a specialist in promoting use of natural resources, and mitigating and adapting to climate change. Co-op Bank chief executive…

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German company ecoligo commissions Kenya’s first floating solar system

KENYA – Berlin-based solar company ecoligo, which implements solar projects in emerging markets, has commissioned Kenya’s first ever floating solar plant. The 69 kWp system provides clean and affordable energy to the sustainable flower farm, Rift Valley Roses. The solar plant floats on one of the farm’s water reservoirs, saving space and providing many other benefits in addition to renewable energy. Rift Valley Roses has been pursuing the goal of sustainable, environmentally friendly production for years and in addition to rainwater catchment basins to reduce water consumption and biogas plants,…

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SunCulture secures US$11m from investors for its solar powered irrigation systems

KENYA – A consortium of investors is availing an US$11 million line of credit for SunCulture, a supplier of solar powered irrigation systems based in Nairobi, Kenya for the dissemination of its solution in Africa. The new financial partners include the Off-Grid Energy Access Fund of the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) Energy Inclusion Facility (OGEF); Triodos Investment Management, the Danish government’s Nordic Development Fund (NDF); and the investment company AlphaMundi. The entire transaction was arranged by SunFunder, a financing company specialised in solar energy. SunCulture, which has already started drawing…

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EU injects US$46.3m to boost agribusiness in Kenya

KENYA – Agribusiness in Kisii and Uasin Gishu counties in Kenya has received a much-needed shot-in-the-arm with a US$46.3 million funding from the European Union. The two regional county governments and Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) aimed at accelerating the engagement of women and youth in agribusiness activities through the AgriBIz programme which is funded by the European Union and Danida at a cost of US$46.3 million. The Memorandum of Understanding will facilitate the collaboration and cooperation between the two entities in advancing…

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Agritech startup Aerobotics raises US$17m in funding round led by Naspers

SOUTH AFRICA – Agritech start-up Aerobotics founded in Cape Town, has raised US$17-million in a series-B funding round led by Naspers, one of the world’s top 10 technology investors. Report of the investment comes barely a year after Naspers said it would invest US$6.7 million in Aerobotics through its Naspers Foundry business, which funds early-stage ventures. Other than Naspers, there was also “significant participation” from Platform Investment Partners, FMO: Entrepreneurial Development Bank and Cathay AfricInvest Innovation. The series-B investment will used to further technology development and product delivery in the US, a…

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South Africa’s startup Nile launches tech-enabled platform to connect farmers with buyers

SOUTH AFRICA – Nile, South African startup has launched a tech-enabled sourcing platform that facilitates the wholesale trade of fresh produce, connecting farmers directly with buyers. A B2B e-commerce platform, Nile aggregate supply across the SADC region to offer buyers access to high quality fresh produce at transparent prices. “Our platform makes it easy and safe to trade fresh produce and a wholesale buyer can now view live prices and availability from multiple producers across different regions. A buyer can place orders instantly by selecting specific ripeness, grade, size and packaging,” said Louis de Kock,…

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